Thursday, October 9th, 2014

NARS Nail Polish
NARS Nail Polish

NARS Barents Sea Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sparkling deep blue.” It’s a metallic, medium-dark blue with very fine medium blue shimmer that runs through it. The metallic finish leaves some threads of shimmer that you can detect, but it the majority fade as it dries down. The formula on this was thicker, and it had a tendency to pool along the edges if you weren’t careful. It took much longer to dry as well, and it dried down to a semi-matte finish. Marc Jacobs Beauty Blue Velvet (132) (P, $18.00) is darker. Chanel Bel-Argus (667) (LE, $27.00) is lighter, brighter. China Glaze Blue Bells (LE, $7.50) is brighter. Zoya Song (P, $9.00) is darker, less metallic. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Algonquin Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sparkling lilac.” It’s a muted, medium-dark lavender purple with neutral-to-cool undertones and lighter, silvery-lavender flecks of sparkle and shimmer. It had mostly opaque color coverage, but there was visible nail line after two coats. The finish had a light shine to it, but I would recommend a top coat with it, as it isn’t as glossy as other polishes in the range. The formula seemed slightly thicker, though it wasn’t problematic to work with. NARS Kalymnos (P, $20.00) is much lighter and a cream. L’Oreal The Reign of Studs (LE, $6.99) is more glittery, brighter. Rescue Beauty Lounge Forgiveness (LE, $20.00) is lighter, less sparkly. NARS Night Rider (LE, $20.00) is warmer. Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid (P, $12.00) is less sparkly. Zoya Nimue (P, $9.00) is darker, finer shimmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Sherwood Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “shimmering violet rose.” It’s a rosy plum with fine rose gold and copper shimmer. It had semi-opaque color coverage after two coats, so there was visible nail line. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, so I think a third coat would be possible without it feeling too thick or taking too long to dry. This shade dried down to a lightly glossy finish, so a top coat wouldn’t be necessary. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one–everything I considered was much more copper-hued or a cream (Essie Hot Coco has a similar tone but is a cream).

The Glossover

LE
product

Barents Sea

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Algonquin

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Sherwood

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Illamasqua Melange Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Melange Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Melange Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “golden teal [with a matte finish].” It’s a muted, medium-dark green with a hint of blue and gold and copper flecks of shimmer and sparkle. I thought it might be more a chameleon, but as I went from room to room (for different lighting), it was always a muted, dirty green to me. It had more of a satin finish where there was still some reflection, but it wasn’t glossy. I don’t know of any dupes for this shade really, but these were the closest I could think of: Zoya Stassi (P, $9.00) is much warmer, sheerer. China Glaze This is Tree-mendous (LE, $7.50) is more sparkly, sheerer. Cult Nails Grunge (P, $12.00) has less shimmer, lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

It was fully opaque after two coats of polish, though it was pretty much opaque after one coat. The consistency was slightly thick, though it applied evenly and didn’t pool along the edges. It dried down quicker than the average polish. I normally get a full seven days with very minor tip wear with Illamasqua’s formula (I have worn some shades for as long as fourteen days).

It appears that Illamasqua is no longer available at any U.S. retailers, which means the only way to purchase their products is through their website. The press release I received for the Once… collection is for the US, and the pricing reflected what we saw in stores, but converting to “$ USD” on their website changes the polish to $23.53 (when I checked it). On top of that, nail lacquer is a restricted category for shipping, so to ship one polish is $24.34 (you can order up to 15 polishes, if you were doing some heavy-duty lacquer hauling). I’ve been such a huge fan of their Nail Varnish, so I’m sad to see it become harder to get (or justify).

The Glossover

P
product

Melange

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Tom Ford Black Cherry Nail Lacquer
Tom Ford Black Cherry Nail Lacquer

Tom Ford Black Cherry Nail Lacquer ($32.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is a blackened burgundy with cool, pink-ish undertones and a cream finish. “Black Cherry” is a pretty apt description, I’d say! Cult Nails Lamestain (P, $12.00) is warmer. Urban Decay Wrecked (LE) is lighter. MAC Blueblood (LE, $16.00) is lighter. Guerlain Lou-Ling (LE, $23.00) is lighter. Chanel Provocation (P, $27.00) is lighter, warmer. Chanel Accessoire (P, $27.00) is warmer, lighter. Rescue Beauty Lounge Drifter (LE, $20.00) is lighter. Color Club Fashion Moment (P) is similar. China Glaze Naughty & Nice (LE, $7.50) is very similar. Zoya Anja (P, $9.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

This is a new, limited edition shade from the brand for fall. It’s a very rich, deep, dark shade that looks mostly black under most lighting conditions, but it does look more interesting in the sunlight, as the burgundy-berry tones get accentuated. The polish had fully opaque color after two coats, though it was quite pigmented with just one, and it dried down to a glossy shine. I don’t think you’d have to put a top coat on to achieve the shine as a result. The consistency was thinner, and the brush seemed to keep a lot of the polish on it, so it required a little extra care to avoid over-applying. I typically get a week with very minor tip wear with Tom Ford’s lacquer formula.

The Glossover

LE
product

Black Cherry

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, September 1st, 2014

Zoya Remy, Sansa, Yuna Nail Lacquers
Zoya Remy, Sansa, Yuna Nail Lacquers

Zoya Remy Nail Lacquer ($9.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as an “indigo with copper and gold liquid metal.” It’s an inky, blackened navy blue with lighter blue and teal sparkle. It seems like the “copper and gold” turns into a lighter, bluish-teal with the blue polish over/mixed with it. This was so pigmented–it was pretty much opaque in one coat, but the swatches show two. It was slightly thin but not particularly problematic to apply. Marc Jacobs Beauty Blue Velvet (132) (P, $18.00) is lighter, brighter, smaller shimmer. Color Club First Looks (P) is darker, smaller shimmer. China Glaze Little Drummer Boy (LE, $7.50) is darker, smaller shimmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Zoya Samsa Nail Lacquer ($9.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “deepest eggplant with gold liquid metal.” It’s a medium-dark, warm-toned purple with gold and copper flecks of sparkle and shimmer. It had mostly opaque color coverage that went on evenly and dried down to a shiny finish. The consistency was a little thin, but it didn’t run to the edges, thankfully. Chanel Taboo (LE, $27.00) is darker, different colored shimmer. Cult Nails Spontaneous (DC, $12.00) is less shimmery, warmer. Cult Nails Enigmatic (LE, $12.00) is darker, less shimmery. Zoya Neeka (P, $9.00) is cooler-toned, less sparkly. Butter London Marrow (P, $15.00) is less shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Zoya Yuna Nail Lacquer ($9.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “grey with copper and gold liquid metal.” It’s a dark gray with subtle warm undertones and a yellowed sparkle. It had very nearly opaque color coverage after two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. China Glaze Concrete Catwalk (LE, $7.50) and Zoya Evvie (P, $9.00) have no shimmer, so they’re not very similar overall. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
product

Remy

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Sansa

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Yuna

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Zoya India, Teigen, Autumn Nail Lacquer
Zoya India, Teigen, Autumn Nail Lacquers

Zoya India Nail Lacquer ($9.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep, luxurious red with a gold liquid metallic shimmer.” It’s a deep, blackened reddish wine with gold sparkle that looks more like a mix of gold and copper, depending on the angle and lighting. It was fully opaque after two coats of polish, and it applied smoothly and evenly. I didn’t notice any brush strokes, but the consistency did run a little thick. It didn’t seem to impede application. Essie Toggle to the Top (P, $8.00) has much larger sparkle/glitter. Chanel Malice (LE, $27.00) is much darker with finer shimmer. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Black Metal Dahlia (P, $10.00) is darker with finer shimmer. Illamasqua Charisma (P, $17.00) has finer shimmer. Dior Apparat (LE, $24.00) has finer shimmer. China Glaze Sugar Plums (LE, $7.50) is less shimmer, larger sparkle. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Zoya Teigen Nail Lacquer ($9.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “pink-toned cranberry with a copper liquid metal.” It’s a pinkish-red with gold sparkle and subtle, cool undertones. It was semi-opaque after two coats, but I found the consistency to be a little watery, which resulted in sheerer coverage. Chanel Rouge Moire (LE, $27.00) has finer shimmer, warmer. Zoya Bobbi (P, $9.00) is pinker, lighter. Urban Decay Hot Mess (LE) is less golden, darker. SpaRitual Break of Dawn (LE, $10.00) is similar. Zoya Reva (P, $9.00) is slightly darker. Zoya Blaze (P, $9.00) is darker, redder. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Zoya Autumn Nail Lacquer ($9.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “varnished copper liquid metal.” It’s a medium-dark, reddish copper with flecks of gold and copper shimmer. It was fully opaque after two coats with a slightly thicker consistency. There were very subtle brush strokes that I could see, but only under brighter lighting conditions. MAC Styleseeker (LE, $16.00) is darker, with finer shimmer. Le Metier de Beaute Silk Road (LE, $10.00) is darker. China Glaze Harvest Moon (LE, $7.50) is browner, more golden. Zoya Tanzy (P, $9.00) is lighter, more orange. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
product

India

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Teigen

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Autumn

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, August 15th, 2014

Christian Louboutin Rouge Louboutin Nail Colour
Christian Louboutin Rouge Louboutin Nail Colour

Christian Louboutin Rouge Louboutin Nail Colour ($50.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a medium (almost medium-dark), subtly cool-toned red cream with a high gloss finish. NARS Torre del Oro (P, $20.00) is lighter. Tom Ford Beauty Trophy Wife (LE, $32.00) is pinker. Tom Ford Beauty Shameless (LE, $32.00) is warmer. NARS Lost Red (LE, $20.00) is brighter. Chanel Cinema (P, $27.00) is more muted. MAC Touch of Red (LE, $16.00) is similar. MAC Stage Red (LE, $16.00) is darker. MAC Russian Red (LE, $16.00) is similar. MAC Flaming Rose (P, $16.00) is slightly pinker. Dior Marilyn (LE, $26.00) is brighter. Butter London Pillar Box Red (P, $15.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

It is modeled after the iconic red sole of Louboutin’s shoes. I can’t weigh in on how close of a match of it, as I do not own any Louboutin shoes myself. From the bottom of the bottle to the very top of the handle, it measured exactly eight inches (as intended to match the tallest shoe ever designed by Louboutin, the Ballerina Ultima). The long-handled cap is also supposed to be “perfectly weighted to ensure the utmost ergonomic comfort and control.” The formula is supposed to be “highly pigmented, chip-proof” with a “brilliantly shiny finish that mimics the reflection of patent leather.” It comes in a small, square box that the cap comes out of (so nothing keeps the cap boxed in, just the glass portion).

It was nearly opaque after one coat, though it looks more pinkish-red at times with only one coat. I applied two coats for swatches (except the one as noted, to show you opacity after one). I think it lives up to the highly pigmented claim, and it has a high shine finish without the need of a top coat. It dries down faster than the average polish, though you can still dent it if you’re not careful for about a half hour to forty-five minutes after application. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it was well-balanced, easy to apply, and didn’t streak, bubble, or pool along the edges.

Everything about the actual formula was quite nice (aside from wear, which I’m testing), but I didn’t really like the brush or the way the handle/cap felt in my hands. I didn’t find it ergonomic, and it made applying polish with my non-dominant hand even more tedious than usual. It is rather weighty, and I found myself having to hold it nearest to the base (closest to the brush itself), and the thickness of the cap at that point is large, which I think is why it seems less comfortable. The brush itself is shorter and seems almost narrower than some, which I didn’t have any issues with other than it does take more strokes to get an even coat of polish across the entire nail, but that will depend on the width of your nails. If the brand has any more metallic shades in their line-up, I will be curious to see if it is problematic applying those finishes and managing brush strokes. The “is it worth it” question is really personal–there are plenty of red creams on the market, so if it’s the color you’re after, there are other options, but if Louboutin makes your heart sing, it might be right up your alley.

This is part sneak peek, part review, as the wear test will take take as long as ten days (really depends on what it looks like after seven). I’ll update this post after wearing it with a full rating, but the clock has started!  I bought mine from Sephora, but it seems like most places are out of stock and/or on backorder (Nordstrom, Saks).

Update: For the most part, I had a decent amount of tip wear after seven days of wear. It is actually more tip wear than is normal for me with most polishes, but I also had chipping on my right index finger that started after five days, while the left index finger was also in worse shape compared to other shades. It’s very rare that I get chipping, so I was really disappointed to see it here. For reference, I didn’t use any base or top coat, and I used two coats of the polish (this is the same way I wear other polish to test wear). I didn’t have any staining, and it was easy to remove.

The Glossover

P
product

Louboutin Rouge

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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